As a 100% volunteer organization, it takes many women to keep AWAQ on track and moving forward, and everyone’s commitment is very much appreciated. Like our membership, the club is ever evolving, and things that worked in the past, may not be appropriate today. Change can be a good thing, but sometimes changes made with the best intentions are not successful, and that’s to be expected.
Based on the discussions at our recent Town Hall meeting, our members seem to feel the club’s main priorities should be:
- Revising the Membership ratios definitions to allow for more international members.
- Updating the Board member requirement so that only President, Vice President and perhaps one other position (either treasurer or secretary) needs be a U.S. Citizen, which would open the other four Board positions to ALL members.
- Change the current Board to a Committee type structure vs a stand-alone Officer and Standing Committee Structure Board. There would still be a Board, but instead of seven individuals, there could be individual committees that fulfill the Board and Standing Committee positions. One suggestion was that we try to source more volunteers for board roles in the form of co-chairs or committees to lessen the workload on individuals.
2. Transparency. Official business is discussed / shared at monthly membership meetings, but many times the majority of members are not in attendance, so sometimes there can be a lack of understanding about what transpires behind the scenes. The suggestion was made that a meeting recap could be sent to all members after the meeting or posted on the website. Additionally, it was suggested that the monthly financials should be posted online in a secure location for members to peruse at their convenience.
3. New member onboarding and new member experience improvements. The need for a “welcoming committee” and a different active engagement model for the membership meetings was suggested.
4. Maintaining the “American flavor” of the club. Our members overwhelmingly feel that this is what draws women to the organization, especially women of other nationalities. This is an important feature that needs to be maintained.
Our current bylaws stipulate a change process that the club must adhere to, including that Full members must vote on any amendments. Our hope is to work on changes over the summer, so we can put them to a vote early in the Fall. If you would like to participate in our committee to review/revise the bylaws, please send us an email, or contact any of our board members. You may also submit your ideas anonymously via the online suggestion box.
Thank you all for your ongoing dedication to AWAQ! We look forward to working towards an exciting and rewarding year ahead.